ACC Bubble Analysis for February 16, 2014


This week will be known as the week that “could have been” for several ACC teams. When you have a team on ropes and you are on the bubble, you have to finish. As we go through our Bubble Analysis you’ll see teams which teams helped themselves and which ones if they miss tournament will look at this week as the reason why.

In my ranking system, any RPI top (100) win is a good win and any RPI top (50) obviously worth more. Any losses outside the RPI top (100) is considered a bad loss, and outside the RPI (150) are even more damaging. I’m not counting future results only if I think a team would make the NCAA’s if selections were made the day of the post.

Teams get a “*” for top 50 good wins or “*” greater 150 losses.

My RPI rankings come from, CBSSportsline.com.

This is going to be a weekly article, where I seed the ACC teams where I think they’d placed if the tournament started the same day as my posting.


(3) Syracuse (25-0) (10-0) Projected Seed 1

Last 10 – (10-0)

Good Wins – * (5) Villanova, * (50) Baylor, * (38) Minnesota, * (45) California, (57) St. Johns, (67) E. Michigan, * (30) North Carolina, * (32) Pittsburgh, * (8) Duke, (78) Clemson, *(32) Pittsburgh, (51) NC State

Bad Losses -None

Notes – Syracuse keeps winning and it would take a major collapse for them not to get a #1 seed, but they look vulnerable. NC State had the Orange beat in the Carrier Dome, before making several critical mistakes in the final minute. Syracuse needed a miracle to beat Pittsburgh. They are struggling scoring, and are averaging less than 60 points in their last 4 games. Syracuse doesn’t need to lose, but they do need a wake up call, because they aren’t playing as well as they did a few weeks ago.

(8) Duke (20-5) (9-3) Projected Seed 2

Last 10 – (8-2)

Good Wins – (67) Eastern Michigan, * (15) UCLA, * (14) Michigan, * (18) Virginia, (51) NC State, (60) Florida State, * (32) Pittsburgh, (69) Maryland

Bad Losses – (108) Notre Dame

Notes – Duke struggled shooting the 3 against Maryland, but still sent the Terps to a heatbreaking loss for them as John Swofford probably smiled on. I moved Duke up this week because Michigan St., and Villanova lost. For Duke to stay there they will need to win at Georgia Tech and split with UNC and Syracuse. Duke won’t be a 1 seed if they win all three, but they will give themselves a shot at it if they do.

(18) Virginia (21-5) (12-1) Projected Seed 3

Last 10 – (9-1)

Good Wins – * (37) SMU, (51) NC State, (60) Florida State, (60) Florida State, * (30) North Carolina, * (32) Pittsburgh, (69) Maryland, (78) Clemson

Bad Losses – None

Notes – Virginia went to 2-0 this week beating Maryland and Clemson. They have a soft week upcoming with a road game at Virginia Tech and Notre Dame at home. Circle March 1 on the calender, that’s when Syracuse visits Virginia. If the Cavaliers win the ACC, they could earn a 2 seed.

(30) North Carolina (17-7) (7-4) Projected Seed 7

Last 10 – (7-3)

Good Wins – * (9) Michigan St., * (34) Louisville, * (12) Kentucky, *(40) Richmond, (78) Clemson, (51) NC State, (69) Maryland, * (32) Pittsburgh

Bad Losses – (164) UAB, (116) Miami

Notes – When James Michael McAdoo plays well the Tar Heels can be very difficult to deal with, just ask Pittsburgh. The Heels need to keep surging to improve their seeding. It’s a tricky week with a game at desperate Florida State, then Duke and Wake Forest at home. I’d like to see the Heels go at least 3-1.

(32) Pittsburgh (20-6) (8-5) Projected Seed 9

Last 10 – (5-5)

Good Wins – * (47) Stanford, (51) NC State (69) Maryland, (78) Clemson, (69) Maryland

Bad Losses –  None

Notes – Pittsburgh is the first of several ACC teams that will regret this past week. The Panthers were 5 points from being a 4 seed, but lost on a last second shot to Syracuse, then couldn’t come all the way back against North Carolina. I like this team, but the resume has holes. There is just a lack of quality wins, and despite good computer numbers their seeding will be hurt. The Panthers get a week off to prepare for Florida State next Sunday at home.

Bubble But In

(51) NC State (16-9) (6-6) Projected Seed 12

Last 10 – (5-5)

Good Wins – (53) Tennessee, (69) Maryland, (100) Northwestern, (60) Florida State

Bad Losses – (129) NC Central

Notes – NC State fans were irate at the foul on T.J. Warren in the final seconds of their game with Syracuse that didn’t end up as a basket and 1. Look further and NC State cost themselves the game with their own mistakes. There was a dribble off the foot, an offensive foul on Tyler Ennis they didn’t take advantage of, and then an inexplicable turnover  that Syracuse turned into the game winning basket. I put NC State in the field but barely. A win over Syracuse would have done wonders for a a shaky profile. If NC State wins both road games at Clemson and Virgina Tech they will remain in the field, split and I’m not sure.

Bubble But Out

(60) Florida State (15-10) (6-7) 

Last 10 – (4-6)

Good Wins – * (19) UMASS, * (23) VCU, (69) Maryland, (78) Clemson

Bad Losses – (116) Miami

Notes – When you are on the bubble, you cannot lose to Miami at home. You just can’t. That loss will haunt the Noles for the rest of year. It’s an absolute must they do no worse than a split with North Carolina and Pittsburgh this week.  The Noles have to eye a 9-9 finish in the ACC.

(69) Maryland (14-12) (6-7)

Last 10 – (4-6)

Good Wins – (56) Providence, (60) Florida State

Bad Losses – None

Notes –  For Maryland there is talent on this roster, but this one underachieving bunch. They were good enough to push Duke into the final seconds but failed to close the deal. As I said in previous blog post, the Terps can’t enter the ACCT with 13 losses. The committee isn’t going to take a 14 loss team. Basically Maryland must win out. They get Wake Forest at home this week on Tuesday, so yea that’s a must win.

(78) Clemson (15-9) (6-6) 

Last 10 – (5-5)

Good Wins – * (8) Duke, (60) Florida State

Bad Losses – * (159) Auburn, (108) Notre Dame

Notes – Not only did Clemson not win both their games last week against Notre Dame and Virginia, which I said they needed to do to get in the field, they lost both by a total of 9 points. It was very damaging week to Clemson’s fading NCAA hopes. The Tigers should they beat NC State at home and win at Georgia Tech this week, they will still have a shot at the Big Dance. Clemson has to be over .500 in the ACC to have a chance.  A NIT would still be a major accomplishment.

Only if they win the ACC Tournament

(101) Wake Forest (14-11) (4-8)

Last 10 – (3-7)

Good Wins – * (40) Richmond, * (30) UNC, (51) NC State, (80) St. Bonaventure

Bad Losses –  (147) Georgia tech

Notes – The Deacs are done… They are not even playing well at home anymore. They’ve lost 5 games in a row, and a once promising season is history. With games at Maryland and North Carolina this week, it’s just going to get uglier.

(108) Notre Dame 14-12 (5-8)

Last 10 – (4-6)

Good Wins – * (8) Duke, (63) Delaware, (78) Clemson

Bad Losses – (147) Georgia Tech

Notes – Notre Dame is on a modest two game winning streak after beating Clemson and Boston College this past week. They’ve built such a hole for themselves, that I think it’s too deep to get out of. Should they somehow win at Miami and at Virginia then maybe just maybe they will re-enter the NCAA discussion.

(116) Miami (12-13) (3-9)

Last 10 – (3-7)

Good Wins – * (29) Arizona St., * (30) UNC, (92) LaSalle, (60) Florida State

Bad Losses – * (227) Virginia Tech * (165) St. Francis NY, * (198) UCF, * (227) Virginia Tech

Notes – The Canes have weird resume. They have more top 30 wins than Virginia and Pittsburgh combined. They also threw a wrench in FSU’s NCAA hopes by winning in Tallahassee. This is also a team that’s lost to Virginia Tech twice too. Miami gets Notre Dame and Boston College at home this week, so there is a chance to move up the ACC standings.

(147) Georgia Tech (13-12) (4-8) 

Last 10 – (4-6)

Good Wins – (89) Illinois, (95) Georgia

Bad Losses – (116) Miami

Notes – Georgia Tech’s last second winover Boston College briefly eased the pain of a rough season. They can play the role of spoiler with Duke and Clemson coming to Atlanta this week.

(188) Boston College (6-19) (2-10)

Last 10 – (2-8)

Good Wins – (86) Washington

Bad Losses – * (159) Auburn, (106) Purdue, (147) Georgia Tech, (108) Notre Dame, (142) USC, (108) Notre Dame, (147) Georgia Tech

Notes – If Syracuse just finds ways to win, Boston College is just the opposite. They just find ways to lose games. 12 of their losses have been by 10 points or less, with several lost in the final seconds. Games at Syracuse and at Miami are what is up next this week.

(227) Virginia Tech (9-15) (2-10)

Last 10 – (0-10)

Good Wins – (69) West Virginia

Bad Losses – * (192) SC Upstate, (140) Seton Hall,*(301) UNC Greensboro, * (188) Boston College, (108) Notre Dame, * (188) Boston College

Notes – In Virginia Tech’s last two games they nearly won at Pitt, and now they beat Miami at home? At least the Hokies haven’t quit on the season. They host Virginia and NC State this week in games that the Hokies have a chance to compete in.

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